Children make passionate appeal for passing of Child Rights Bill

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Kofi Roberts, attending Sierra Leone Grammar School in SSS 1 (Science 2), has appealed to President Julius Maada Bio, saying: “because of the delay in enacting the revised Child Rights Act, we the children of Sierra Leone are pain; we feel left out because till this day, the revised Child Rights Act has still not been passed into law by our Parliament. This is why we are calling on you our President, to please use your power and save us from abuse and violence.”

Roberts who was responding to questions during an interview with this medium on Tuesday 11th April, 2023, went on speak his mind on the benefits of the revised Child Rights Act and how he feels about it not being enacted into law.

He went on to state that, the revised Act is very good for the children of Sierra Leone because when enacted, it provides protection for children from inhuman and indecent abuse of all forms including corporal punishment, domestic and sexual violence among others.

According to him, he believes that what this revised Act is passed into law, it would pave the way for a better and more prospective future for the children of Sierra Leone. He used the opportunity to prevail on Members of Parliament, especially MPS in the Child Welfare Committee in Parliament to “please, please, please… pass the revised Child Rights Act into law.”

He called on President Julius Maada Bio to look into the plight facing children in Sierra Leone, adding that, though the President has dome much for the children of this country, encouraging MPs to pass the reviewed Child Rights Act “would be the his crowning glory.”

Dilating earlier on the reasons for the review and the stage it currently stands, was Director of Youth and Children Advocacy Network (YACAN) Hassan Fuad Kanu.

Speaking in an interview at his Fort Street office in Freetown on Tuesday 11th April, 2023, he said it all started in 2016 when YACAN and other CSOs realized that there were serious gaps in the Child Rights Act of 2007 which if not bridged will not totally address child rights issues.

He added that from that time until 2016 through 2018, they made some progress in getting the relevant authorities to pay attention to what they were agitating for and to finally review the parts which needed review. He added that so far, the Bill is with the Legislative Committee.

He also used the opportunity to prevail on MPS to pass the reviewed legislation into law in order to make the lives of children safer and more secure.

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